Transformation begins: 15 photos of Red Wings arena, M-1 Rail development

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The red containers form the shape of the arena and will be the site of Thursday’s groundbreaking.

Woodward Avenue near downtown is almost unrecognizable.

That’s because crews are building the $140 million M-1 rail for streetcars and laying groundwork for a new $450 million Red Wings arena.

On Thursday, crews will break ground for the arena.

Here’s what construction and preparation look like now. All photos by Steve Neavling

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The footprint of the new Red Wings arena.
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A recently painted mural for the arena groundbreaking.
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Artists work on one of several murals for the Red Wings arena groundbreaking.
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The red containers mark the spot of the arena construction.
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Crews set up for the groundbreaking. 
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This will be the heart of the Red Wings arena and adjacent entertainment district along Woodward.
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Some commentary.
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Crews are breaking up Woodward to prepare for M-1 rails.
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Woodward is closed at Grand Circus Park.
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Looking south on Woodward.
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Some of the M-1 rails are stored along Woodward near the new arena site.
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A lot of construction equipment lines Woodward.
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The footprint of the M-1 Rail, looking south on Woodward.
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Woodward near Mack Avenue.

Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.

  • John Smith

    Nice. The illustrated guide to Detroit Bankruptcy 2.0.

  • Billy Blake

    The construction company putting that rail down better be quick.Before the scrappers get a hold of it.

  • Fernando

    dope pics Steve, can’t wait to see the progress in this part of town.

    313